My Wiccan Mentor Comes to Town and I Meet My Spirit Guide.

Oops, I did it again. This is when I wish I had a camera crew or producer following me around because yesterday was a once in a Project Conversion moment and–

OH MY GODDESS I forgot to take pictures!

Take that, silly human.

So far this year I’ve only had a Mentor in my home two times. Yesterday was one of those times. But not only was my Wiccan Mentor here (wassup Melissa!)…her Mentor was here as well! You could cut the awesome with a knife.

After chatting for a while and introductions to my family (my kids were dressing up for a Halloween party and running around the house), Mentor Melissa, her teacher, and I got down to business. Melissa came with two goals (other than chilling with her student): a Tarot card reading, and a guided meditation to meet my Spirit Guide. I have a friend in the United Kingdom who performed a reading a couple of weeks ago using her husband’s custom cards, but Melissa’s reading was my first in-person.

Tarot cards. Design my vary

Tarot cards have a long history and originated as simple playing cards in around 15th century Europe (perhaps an export from Egypt). While divination using Tarot cards developed soon after, wide spread use of the cards for divination did not come until the 18th and 19th centuries. Different readers use various forms and techniques for spreading the cards for a reading, however the principle goal is to assist the seeker in understanding their past, present, and perhaps even gleaning their future. Some readers suggest possible future events, others allow the cards themselves to speak to the seeker.

With my reading, Melissa allowed the cards to speak to me. The cards seemed to describe my current adventure with Project Conversion, especially the spiritual and mental struggles/events. What was interesting is that a few cards (because of their order) pointed quite harshly at an internal struggle I’ve had for a few months now involving the river. Melissa doesn’t know about this issue. In fact, no one knows about this aspect of my journey (not even my wife), and yet once the cards went down, it hit me hard. This wasn’t a suggestion, but a challenge. Will you embrace your destiny, or are you planning on pussy-footing around what I was shown that day those many months ago?

Wow universe, way to take off the gloves.

So that was the reading. I was happy with the results so we moved on to the guided meditation.

This was also my maiden voyage into this sort of meditation because with other meditations this year, there was no outside visualization. Now, I actively looked for my innate energies and the astral spaces which exist between the lines of our physical realm.

Melissa asked me to get comfortable and ground myself (displacing excess energy from my body–much like a lightning rod). I did so and thus the journey to meet my Spirit Guide or Familiar, began. A guided meditation means that she led me into the astral space via her words. I closed my eyes and followed her descriptions of the environment. Soon, I entered a garden. There is the sound of water, the smell of flowers, the warmth of the sun. I feel them all. Then, I follow a stone path leading into the woods.

She doesn’t tell me that the woods are dark, but they become dark as I walk in. The darkness doesn’t bother me, in fact the darker it gets, the closer I feel to the Goddess. By this time, Melissa’s words become the environment itself and the journey feels natural. I meet a shadowy form in the woods. It feels like the Goddess. She doesn’t speak but instead directs me forward.

I reach the end of the path. It leads to an opening into another garden. There are critters everywhere. There is also a lake and an island in the middle with an enormous oak tree. Hey there, God. The garden here is different. Suddenly, like an EMP shock wave, all sound and movement stops. Even the landscape turns grey. Slowly, color bleeds back into the leaves, grass, water, and then I see it. By the Goddess…

It’s my Spirit Guide. I know this immediately as it steps toward me. A Spirit Guide is a being who teaches and guides you through life. It can take any form, however it uniquely fits the individual. Your Spirit Guide knows you. I’ll try to describe this being without it seeming like an acid trip.

It is a bird about my height, maybe a little taller, but unlike any I’ve ever seen. My Spirit Guide has the build of a raptor (bird of prey, like a hawk or eagle), but this is where things get freaky. It’s feathers change form and color constantly, like an octopus, and undulate the entire time. The tail feathers might turn black, like a raven, and as the black band of color flows from tail to head, another set of colors and shapes come behind it. Like a ribbon of fire burning through a dry leaf.

My Spirit Guide is any and all birds, constantly shifting between forms.

I cautiously reach for it’s curved beak and it allows me ever closer. Soon, I’m embracing my Spirit Guide. Here, I know this is mine, because the feathers feel and smell like the feathers of my favorite pet chicken, Blizzard, from my youth. She lived for almost 15 years.

Now, Melissa calls me to walk back…but I can’t. As I’m sitting there in meditation I feel like I’m literally spinning with my eyes closed. I even feel nauseous. My skin feels hot and sweaty. Had I done this alone, I would have panicked, and it would be just like that night in my apartment so many years ago. She directed me to ask the Spirit Guide why I couldn’t move. It told me,

I was waiting for you to ask for help.

Another blow to my ego. The spinning gradually stopped and I gently came out of the journey.

Here's to humility.

The three of us spent the rest of our time talking about the experience and just enjoying our mutual company. We parted with gifts and just as they entered their car, a red-tail hawk flew overhead. I live in the city. Red-tail hawks are never in the city. Ever.

I’ve seen them at the river every time I go and particularly when I visit the Temple. Looks like I’ve made a friend.

My Spirit Guide in the form of a red-tail hawk. Just please don't poop on me, okay?

I want to publicly thank Mentor Melissa and her teacher for visiting me. Making a 2 1/2 trek to the home of someone you’ve never met is a gamble, but the experience and the lessons you two have given me this month are forever grafted to my being. Thank you and blessed be.

Have you met your Spirit Guide? What’s it like?

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rita

    Wonderful story!
    The only thing I would say, not meaning to bring you down at all, is that I live in the big NC city and there are red-tailed hawks all over. And a variety of other raptors, as well. Also Great Blue Herons. We have lots of wooded areas and creeks which provide great hunting. Love all the birds; it’s awesome to stand and watch them circling overhead on a pretty day like yesterday, just enjoying the ride…

    As I am enjoying your ride.

    • abowen


      Why would your habitat bring me down? I wish I saw this sort of thing all the time! Lived here all my life and I’ve never seen one outside of the woods. Hopefully, I’ll see them more often ; )

  • Niki Whiting

    Hee. Thanks for the shout out! Just for the record, I didn’t use the Chibi Tarot cards, because it’s not finished yet! Your reading doesn’t surprise me at all. What a wonderful ending to your month. One more delicious day…

    • abowen


      No problem sis! Just spreading the love. I’ll be sure to get a set once the hubby is finished!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Amanda Sioux Blake

    It sounds like a beautiful experience, and I’m happy for you. But, I’m curious as to why you didn’t do this at the beginning of the month. You could have worked with your Spirit Guide more than just the once. Are you planning on continuing the relationship, or will you leave it behind when the Wiccan month ends?

    Yours in the Gods,
    Amanda Sioux Blake

    • abowen


      That’s a very good question! Since my Mentor lives so far away and because my instruction time was faster than with a normal student, my Mentor did not want me journeying without her supervision. She carefully worked with me through energy manipulation, grounded and shielding before we took this next step. Safety first, and I’m glad because my experience with the Spirit Guide could have turned into panic had she not been here with me.

      Oh no, I am told that our Guides choose us, so it is something I will carry forward and work with for the rest of my life!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Valerie Smith

    Hello Andrew:

    Interesting visualization there! That must’ve been quite the experience. And reading that your spirit guide is a bird, and reading about the red-tailed hawk reminded me of the quotation from the Baha’i Writings: “I am the Royal Falcon on the arm of the Almighty. I unfold the drooping wings of every broken bird and start it on its flight.”

    • abowen


      It never fails: my Baha’i brothers and sisters can always manifest scripture relevant to my experiences ; ) Thank you!

  • Nicholas Farrell

    A wonderful story. I too have met my guide, but I see him more as my other self. My self of a higher plane if you will. :)

  • Nicholas Farrell

    Also, you aren’t the only one whose spirit guide changes colors in meditation. Mine does from time to time as well, though he mostly prefers black.

  • Ashlee of Pagan Centered Podcast

    That was beautiful Andrew (it actually brought tears to my eyes, thumbs up!!) I am so glad you were able to contact your spirit guide and connect with it finally. It almost felt like I could sense your overwhelming feeling of “coming home” just through your words.

    My Spirit Guide is the panther. Most specifically a black panther. I can’t really recall the first meeting with her/him but I constantly feel her/him around me, I feel its strength flowing through me, hear it roar proudly when I do something the way I’m supposed to, and when I don’t it has the tendency to appear in my dreams as a warning to get my butt back in line. Along with my totem, I also have another Teacher Spirit, Raven. He comes to me in both his North American Native tradition aspect, and his Nordic Asatru aspect (Huginn and Muninn) and he constantly pokes and prods at me to be more self reliant and open to drastic change needed for growth.

    All that being said, it was awesome having you over as a guest on the podcast and I hope we can have you back again soon to update us and our listeners on your journey. I wish you nothing but luck on your journey friend and I am so pleased to hear that you had a very good Samhain

    • abowen


      Thank you so much. I had a fantastic time on the show and indeed hope to visit again. Spirit guides are wonderful beings, aren’t they!?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rev. Blackthorn

    I have met my spirit guide, and it was enlightening. We’d had conversations before, but none like the one we had the day I died.

    I died in a car accident 9 years ago while firefighters were using the jaws of life to extract me from the wreckage. It was a moving experience and I’m glad your experience with your Spirit Guide was just as moving.

    • abowen

      Rev. Blackthorn,

      Thank you for sharing this. Very intense.

  • Kora Kaos

    How wonderful! Hooray! Congratulations! I’m so glad that you are reaching greater communication with your guide(s). “To bring the pieces back together, rediscover communication”….

    Ganymede is the name I use most often for my guide… I usually label him my Holy Guardian Angel, as per Crowleyan magick. But neither the name nor the label really matter. I could talk about him but, um, I’ve already filled up like more than a thousand pages on my blog about him.

    I will say, as for an animal form, my chief spirit animal is a bear. She is a powerful, if violent, protective and healing force.

    I will also say that I have met a bird such as yours, though I don’t know that I met Blizzard, ha! The Greek Ganymede was taken up to Olympus by Zeus disguised as an eagle, you see. An earlier, Egyptian form of Ganymede was connected with Egyptian birds. Once, in a dream, I was asked to pray by a lake all night for a sword, as though I were some mixture of King Arthur and a knight doing his all-night-prayer-session before he’s knighted. At the waterside was where I saw this bird- at first he was Egyptian, then an eagle, and then many other birds. And he gave me the sword. And I have quite a fondness for red-tailed hawks… a red-tailed hawk and my bear are very, very close. Almost romantically so, but um, not really. That’s kinda impossible hahaha. It’s a different sort of love, I guess.